gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
603395 Posts in 24447 Topics by 3470 Members - Latest Member: Janice Summers March 24, 2017, 06:51:37 PM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 Go Down Print
Author Topic: 1986 in Music  (Read 2959 times)
the captain
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6948


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2016, 04:01:30 PM »

Van Halen, yes: didn't "Van Hagar" debut with 5150 in '86? Good album, and a key for them in establishing a new sound.

Weren't some older, harder rocking bands struggling to adjust then, too? I'm thinking KISS Asylum and Twisted Sister Come Out And Play, if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure there are others in addition to the ones KDS mentioned as introducing synths.
Logged

Demon-Fighting Genius, Patronizing Twaddler, Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick, and Sensationalist Dullard who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2016, 07:29:02 PM »

The introduction of synths in a really mainstream way as I remember it was headed up by Van Halen on Jump and I'll Wait from the 1984 album (and hardcore fans gave them some grief over it, even though it was Eddie playing the keys), and ZZ Top with "Legs" and Sharp Dressed Man. Keep in mind, once again, the power of MTV and the video format to help put those songs, those sounds, and those bands into the top-10 singles dept where ZZ Top previously had been the blues/rock band purists. They became media celebrities literally overnight because the videos were so damned popular...thanks to MTV and a few synth sequences underneath their boogie roots.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 07:33:19 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2016, 07:32:51 PM »

I mentioned Hagar earlier - yes, that was '86 and they were a massive success with Sammy, but it left me cold and still does. It just wasn't the same, and it actually had nothing to do with the lead vocalist or "frontman", I just didn't like the way the songs were delivered after the 1984 album. It didn't feel like VH, still doesn't - my opinion only. They made shitloads of money, #1 albums, etc...but none of the Hagar albums hold a candle to those first 5 VH albums, which are brilliant. Pure fun, party rock and roll with superior if not groundbreaking musicianship especially from the VH brothers.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 07:33:37 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
♩♬☮ Bugs The Bunny ♯♫♩☮
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9232


🍦🍦 Nyahhh Wut Shup Doc *hic* ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2016, 07:55:14 PM »

I mentioned Hagar earlier - yes, that was '86 and they were a massive success with Sammy, but it left me cold and still does. It just wasn't the same, and it actually had nothing to do with the lead vocalist or "frontman", I just didn't like the way the songs were delivered after the 1984 album. It didn't feel like VH, still doesn't - my opinion only. They made shitloads of money, #1 albums, etc...but none of the Hagar albums hold a candle to those first 5 VH albums, which are brilliant. Pure fun, party rock and roll with superior if not groundbreaking musicianship especially from the VH brothers.

My daughter had the best line concerning Roth v Hagar. "Hagar is a better singer than Roth; doesn't make the music better. If I wanted good singing I'd be listening to the Beach Boys" LOL
Logged

Hi there. I am Billy. I am Smiley Smile's  resident left-wing ambassador. A snowflake if you will.
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2016, 08:11:51 PM »

I mentioned Hagar earlier - yes, that was '86 and they were a massive success with Sammy, but it left me cold and still does. It just wasn't the same, and it actually had nothing to do with the lead vocalist or "frontman", I just didn't like the way the songs were delivered after the 1984 album. It didn't feel like VH, still doesn't - my opinion only. They made shitloads of money, #1 albums, etc...but none of the Hagar albums hold a candle to those first 5 VH albums, which are brilliant. Pure fun, party rock and roll with superior if not groundbreaking musicianship especially from the VH brothers.

My daughter had the best line concerning Roth v Hagar. "Hagar is a better singer than Roth; doesn't make the music better. If I wanted good singing I'd be listening to the Beach Boys" LOL

Now those are words of wisdom! Sums it up perfectly for me too. It was never about Sammy versus Roth, at least for me even though the fans and the media jumped on that angle. It was the music - with Sammy, it just didn't click for me and it was because the music lost that Mojo VH had from their debut album.

I remember Eddie sat in with Paul Shaeffer's band when the Letterman show did a run in LA around '85. He was the coolest musician on the planet. They even gave him a solo song, Ed's guitar as lead voice, no vocals - it was a VH cover, can't recall what it was. Cool as hell to see it. But it reminds me of Letterman too. I thought Letterman on NBC had the coolest show on TV for a time. When we finally got a VCR I'd tape it every night and watch the next day. Then he moved to CBS, and it was the same core group of people, same Letterman to a degree, same bits and running gags, same stuff...but it lost me and I never went back after that first year on CBS. It lost whatever it had being on NBC at 12:30 after Carson. Just like VH lost whatever Mojo they had with Roth on those first albums.

Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
♩♬☮ Bugs The Bunny ♯♫♩☮
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9232


🍦🍦 Nyahhh Wut Shup Doc *hic* ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2016, 08:24:03 PM »

Good point with Letterman, although I'd hastily add that his humor in general has dated very, very poorly.
Logged

Hi there. I am Billy. I am Smiley Smile's  resident left-wing ambassador. A snowflake if you will.
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2016, 08:38:25 PM »

It has, I agree. That also has to be an age and time thing, I think he was funnier when I was 15 because I was 15. The older I got, his schtick got tired and in some cases just wasn't funny anymore. But some of what he did on the old NBC show, especially the remotes he'd do on the street, were as good as TV got, and no one was doing it quite the same. Larry "Bud" Melman at the Port Authority bus terminal is still one of the best bits I've ever seen, and I think that was '82! I saw that on reruns, obviously.

But it's true, the humor did not age well overall.
Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
♩♬☮ Bugs The Bunny ♯♫♩☮
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9232


🍦🍦 Nyahhh Wut Shup Doc *hic* ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2016, 08:46:12 PM »

I think when he really jumped the shark was when he hosted the Oscars, esp. the whole "Uma-Oprah" thing *shudder*
Logged

Hi there. I am Billy. I am Smiley Smile's  resident left-wing ambassador. A snowflake if you will.
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2016, 08:59:16 PM »

Painful. That was the CBS Letterman. It's just like the difference between the Van Halen debut album and getting OU812 or something, putting it on, and going "hmmmm..." - just not the same mojo. And they ran out of the juice. Letterman was 12:30 on NBC, later was cooler. When he went 11:30, CBS, and mainstream hosting the Oscars, there was no coolness factor to cover up the flaws.
Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
pixletwin
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4395



View Profile
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2016, 09:04:29 PM »

1986 was also the year Depeche Mode's album "Black Celebration" came out. A great album.
Logged
♩♬☮ Bugs The Bunny ♯♫♩☮
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9232


🍦🍦 Nyahhh Wut Shup Doc *hic* ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2016, 09:26:52 PM »

Painful. That was the CBS Letterman. It's just like the difference between the Van Halen debut album and getting OU812 or something, putting it on, and going "hmmmm..." - just not the same mojo. And they ran out of the juice. Letterman was 12:30 on NBC, later was cooler. When he went 11:30, CBS, and mainstream hosting the Oscars, there was no coolness factor to cover up the flaws.

CBS in general was lamer than a one legged chicken at the time.
Logged

Hi there. I am Billy. I am Smiley Smile's  resident left-wing ambassador. A snowflake if you will.
♩♬☮ Bugs The Bunny ♯♫♩☮
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9232


🍦🍦 Nyahhh Wut Shup Doc *hic* ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2016, 09:27:52 PM »

1986 was also the year Depeche Mode's album "Black Celebration" came out. A great album.

Yes it was. Actually, all of their albums save Speak and Spell and A Broken Frame through Violator were all great albums, and both of those two had some great tracks on there as well (especially the latter).
Logged

Hi there. I am Billy. I am Smiley Smile's  resident left-wing ambassador. A snowflake if you will.
the captain
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6948


View Profile
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2016, 04:26:01 AM »

Let the record show I wasn't trying to overly credit Hagar so much as point out that '86 album's importance in their direction. I don't think they ever had a classic album with Hagar, as opposed to a couple imo with Roth (debut and 1984). I'd actually refer to KDS's and my posts earlier this thread as to why: fun.
Logged

Demon-Fighting Genius, Patronizing Twaddler, Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick, and Sensationalist Dullard who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
Jarhead ghost
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


"Unfinished Business"


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2016, 06:31:45 AM »

Most memorable album of the year. Debut of one of the world's great country singers.


« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 06:34:35 AM by bigsurdrifter » Logged
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2016, 07:08:21 AM »

Let the record show I wasn't trying to overly credit Hagar so much as point out that '86 album's importance in their direction. I don't think they ever had a classic album with Hagar, as opposed to a couple imo with Roth (debut and 1984). I'd actually refer to KDS's and my posts earlier this thread as to why: fun.

Fun is valid, yes, but it doesn't cover the fact that the songs and even the production (and performances) just wasn't as memorable. Even though they sold a ton of records, some would argue they were more commercially successful with Hagar based on sales and charts...does anyone remember any of the "hits" that were so successful beyond "Right Now" which was also the theme of a soda commercial?

I cannot remember anyone over two decades or so wanting to learn, play, or cover anything from the VH Hagar era. Contrast that with the thousands of kids who weren't even born yet who learn and cover Ed's and Alex's parts from the classic years.

I have to ask, and it's not personal but I am genuinely curious: If the Hagar era VH was more successful and reached more people than the original DLH run, why is there little or no demand for those supposedly more successful songs and albums?

Seriously, are there people out there jazzed up to hear "Poundcake", or 13-year old budding guitarists trying to learn what Ed played on "When It's Love"? It's just not there, compared to how many covers of Hot For Teacher, Eruption, and even beginning keyboard players trying to cover Jump can be found online, and that says a lot about the longevity and vibe that the Hagar years simply lack...even though Hagar is now known as the Cabo Wabo beach party and fast cars laid-back party dude.

For me, the songs and vibe just weren't there after 1984.
Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
the captain
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6948


View Profile
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2016, 07:13:30 AM »

Are you asking me? Again, I wasn't defending, much less promoting, Van Hagar. So I could speculate, and the results would likely be similar to your ideas.
Logged

Demon-Fighting Genius, Patronizing Twaddler, Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick, and Sensationalist Dullard who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2016, 07:21:07 AM »

No Cap'n, not asking you or addressing you directly! Just adding to what you said - I agree there has to be an element of fun, but I'm seriously interested in hearing opinions from people who know VH's music why the Hagar era albums and singles are not in the public ear at all as of 2016, I mean you just don't hear any of them compared to the original run. And Hagar cultivated and promoted this image as the fun Cabo Wabo party dude, so it's not like he brought a bunch of serious or depressing tunes to the band, yet that era just gets dusted under the rug for the most part - as successful as it was.

I'd even say Hagar took the party image even further than Roth, but maybe the kind of party he was offering was khakis and docksiders on the deck with 10-buck tropical shooters served by hired bikini models versus the original band who you would imagine Jeff Spiccoli hiring to play at his party and having a blast doing it with all the kids... Smiley
Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
JK
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3052


Perhaps I put too much faith in atmosphere


View Profile
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2016, 07:25:29 AM »

This is for Bubbly Waves, who admits to listening to this band of late. The Colour of Spring is probably Talk Talk's most accessible album----and, like its two less accessible successors, a masterpiece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyrWwstEMY
Logged

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)
Chocolate Shake Man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Online Online

Posts: 2629


View Profile
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2016, 07:26:17 AM »

This is quite off topic but I must disagree with elements of the Letterman discussion. I think that the stuff that Letterman was doing in the 80s is still ahead of its time. The only real counterpart to it, in my view, in terms of comedy challenging the norms of the TV medium is Monty Python's Flying Circus.

I also think it's a bit of a myth that Letterman went downhill when moving to CBS. The show changed, definitely. It didn't have the same kind of edge and the show now had the look of a mainstream TV show, rather than some secret cult program taped on the cheap. That said, there were amazing things that happened during the first few years at CBS. The show was a real spectacle and Letterman was still doing some really wild stuff. Was the Uma-Oprah joke his best work? No. But watching that whole Oscars broadcast, I can't think of anyone since who has been anywhere near as funny as Letterman was that night. As someone who has noted since, the New York comics tend to be poorly received by the LA media who write about the event and Letterman's anti-Hollywood attitude and routine didn't sit well with, well, anyone at the event or anyone reporting on it. But sitting at home watching it as a kid in Ontario, I thought it was great.
Logged
Jarhead ghost
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


"Unfinished Business"


View Profile
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2016, 07:44:01 AM »

Are you asking me? Again, I wasn't defending, much less promoting, Van Hagar.
Demon-fighting genius, patronizing-twaddler, Van Hagar promoter


Logged
Jarhead ghost
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


"Unfinished Business"


View Profile
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2016, 07:45:50 AM »

He was the straw that stirred the drink.

 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 08:02:17 AM by bigsurdrifter » Logged
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2016, 07:48:48 AM »

I agree the Letterman NBC show in the 80's was unique, groundbreaking, and exciting as hell because you never knew what they were going to come up with. I loved it, and still do. When I was in 9th grade or whatever, I was wearing a "Late Night" t-shirt with a top ten list on the back, and I'd get stopped by people wanting to read the list. A good ice-breaker for sure, lol. I also collected all the books, the top-ten list, other mid-80's books, I even had the old RS cover with Letterman from 83 or so on display. I was a fan, even though the earliest shows came to me via reruns on A&E and any bootleg tapes I could scrounge up in the pre-internet days.

But seriously, NBC Letterman had the juice - whether it was the 12:30 time slot where the vibe was we can do whatever the hell we want and buck the system, or whether it was just the lightning in a bottle winning-lottery-ticket thing where the timing was right and people wanted to see what they were doing.

Consider this: In those first years at NBC, when Letterman's pal Merrill Markoe and Chris Elliot were on the creative team and Barry Sand was still directing, they would bring on musical guests like James Brown and Carole King...and allow them to play multiple songs along with multiple segments of interviews. It was amazing, the James Brown show from '82 is still one of my favorites of all time. Three songs and long interviews. Carole King too, multiple songs. Frank Zappa interviewed with his teenage daughter - who does this? Then factor in the stunts he'd do like having lawn chairs instead of the usual chairs for the guests, just for the hell of it. Or taking a remote camera across the hall to pester the crew of "Live At Five" as they were prepping for a broadcast. Or deciding to throw watermelons out the window of 30 Rock for the hell of it. No one did this stuff, it's still amazing they got away with it.

Then CBS, it felt like too much of a production. The musical guests got one song, usually. That was it. You'd have to sit through the usual Hollywood big shots plugging the latest movie or theme restaurant, it was just like any other show. Springsteen did the final show at NBC, 'Glory Days" - where he simply rocked out with pure abandon. It did feel like the glory days were ending. Not that CBS didn't have some moments, but it lost the feel.

Later with the availability of more vintage video, it came to be that Letterman and his staff took a lot of their ideas going back to the early NBC days from old Steve Allen stunts, which by 1983 most of Letterman's audience who could stay up to 1:30 to watch would have no idea about from the 50's. But that's just an observation, not a critique. Steve Allen got the rap for being a bit of a stuffed shirt, but in the 50's he was doing a lot of what Letterman would do in the early 80's from the sight gags to the live remotes. A lot of Allen's bits have been lost to history.

One I heard about was involving Tony Randall. In the 50's, Tony was doing a Broadway show and also appeared on Allen's show. Tony would finish the theater matinee, and when the curtain closed Tony would have to gather up and literally run through the blocks of Manhattan to get to Steve Allen's studio to make his showtime there. So Allen and his staff got the idea to put remote cameras along Tony's route through the rush hour streets of NYC, and film him as he tried to run to the studio. From what they say, it was hilarious watching Tony trying to push through the people coming out of work and running block to block to get to Allen's studio.

That sounds exactly like the stuff Letterman would do 30 years later. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 07:52:24 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
Chocolate Shake Man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Online Online

Posts: 2629


View Profile
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2016, 08:19:39 AM »

Great observations and it seems we have very similar backgrounds - right down to watching the A&E re-runs and owning the top ten books. One of the great pleasures for me with Youtube is finding those old Letterman shows.

I suppose our one minor difference is in how much we appreciate the CBS shows. Again, I agree they are very different animals and certainly, once we get into say the late 90s, the show was nowhere near the calibre of the 1980s shows in terms of comedy. However, I think part of the problem (and Letterman himself acknowledged this) was trying to do too much to compete with The Tonight Show once Leno overtook Letterman in the ratings in 1995. Until then, that first year and a half of CBS shows was, in my opinion, incredibly strong (although, yes, as you mention, the structure of the show had changed for the worse).

I think the first big mistake was lengthening the monologue. Letterman's strength was not the monologue. This is why the Carson-mandated "Opening Remarks" worked so well at NBC. It allowed a lot of time for a desk piece, or an audience segment, or a taped segment. All that fell by the wayside when they made the monologue longer. Then, after Letterman's heart surgery in the early 2000s, Letterman abandoned the taped segments altogether, and those were really the strongest element of the CBS Letterman years - from going to fast food restaurants with Zsa Zsa Gabor, to going door-to-door in Jersey with Siskel and Ebert or Richard Simmons, to making Michael "The Bar" Hirsch a man on campus in Boston, to feeding lines to Rupert Gee. To me, these pre-taped segments were as funny as many of the best NBC bits. I can understand why they were eliminated though. Clearly Letterman chose a less strenuous workload for his health. But in place of the taped segments came what seemed like 1000 segments of Will It Float? or Is This Something? or Guess the Meat with the audience - none of which were particularly hilarious concepts the first time around.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 08:23:31 AM by Chocolate Shake Man » Logged
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7196



View Profile WWW
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2016, 08:37:02 AM »

Great post, and I agree. I think you're right about the Leno debacle, how that affected the Letterman show on CBS, and also about his heart surgery. It's a natural progression of life going on and people changing over time. He wasn't the same Letterman from 1983, and I guess a big fan like me wasn't the same kid who thought his show in the 80's was as cool as TV would ever get.

To go back to the 80's, the early days especially, I think what Letterman and his team had was an opportunity which only comes up once - To be the "first" with a template and a goal but essentially no rules. It's what Steve Allen had in the 1950's - There was no late night TV. After the news, it was either old movies or a test signal after the station would sign off until the morning. So Allen's team had carte blanche to do whatever the hell they wanted in terms of format and content.

Fast forward to 1982. NBC had tried for the past decade to fill the slot after Carson. Carson started out in the 60's going 11:15PM to 1AM. 1 hour and 45 minutes after the local news. Then they trimmed back to 11:30 to 1, 90 minutes, then finally in the 70's cut back to 1 hour. NBC tried to plug in Tom Snyder and "Tomorrow" but it wasn't electric enough to keep college kids and others who could stay up late on a Tuesday night engaged. Too stock of a format.

Enter Letterman - A fan of Carson to the core, and Steve Allen, Letterman basically had the template and the freedom to do whatever the hell he wanted because NBC had no idea how to fill that 12:30 slot. This was open season, carte blanche on new ground just as Allen had in the 50's. As long as it got advertisers and ratings, NBC was OK. And Carson still had the power over late night at NBC and he had Letterman's back - crucial at NBC corporate, just ask Lorne Michaels. As Carson's sway in the corporate offices started to wane into the 90's, that's part of how Letterman lost out to Leno. Carson specifically wanted Letterman to fill his chair. The suits at NBC didn't care at that point what Carson wanted. They were still trying to find ways to be as hip as Arsenio...in retrospect, a fool's errand because Arsenio's lightning in a bottle didn't last. And ironically, Arsenio Hall himself grew up idolizing Carson and aspiring to do what Johnny did.

So Letterman had new ground to navigate, and he basically hit the TV screen with whatever he and his crew felt like doing, and it was awesome. Still is. It was the vibe of not giving a damn that I think appealed to a lot of us, like there was a template but no rules to follow. I feel like CBS had too many rules, then factor in Dave's health issue and it became a formula rather than the vibe of "let's do this, who cares if they approve..."
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 08:38:18 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy

www.domainsbyproxy.com

"Who is paying the bills?" - guitarfool2002
Chocolate Shake Man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Online Online

Posts: 2629


View Profile
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2016, 09:14:01 AM »

Absolutely!

One thing I might say is that while I agree that much of the inventiveness that Letterman brought to TV in the early 80s was largely inspired by Steve Allen, there was something about Letterman's character and personality that pushed it to a whole other level. Because while Allen's bits were inventive, his persona was still very much rooted in old school show business or, as Letterman would put it, show bidness. Letterman, despite the fact that he was himself so often the target of his own humour, was kind of like a rock star with a no-nonsense approach to the medium, a complete and utter unwillingness to refine, and a total irreverence for Hollywood, glitz, and glamour. This is why the show became notorious for Letterman's battles with guests on air (and to his credit, despite the tons of money going towards both him and his CBS show, he never completely lost that side of his personality, even when the guests did become more glitzy and glamorous - there was always a sense with him up until his very last show of, good lord what on earth am I doing here?)

I think this is why Conan O'Brien's comments about Letterman were among the most accurate I've seen when describing Letterman's achievements as a broadcaster. He likened late night hosts to explorers and said that Letterman discovered so much that every talk show host was now only able to work within the map that Letterman had created. I tend to agree. Even Letterman himself was forced to do that after a while.
Logged
gfx
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!